Production Number

1-01 (1)


November 16, 1998

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Balls is the first episode of Elmo's World. The first installment in the series is a simple examination of balls, with slightly rougher versions of certain regular features. In an unusual variation, the final performance of "The Ball Song" features a "follow-the-bouncing-ball," referencing the classic Fleischer cartoon shorts and other media to use the technique.

What is Elmo Thinking about Today?


Elmo introduces you to himself and his goldfish, Dorothy. He then opens his closet (Door), only to be attacked by varying balls which fall on him.

Mr. Noodle

Dorothy has a question, which is "how do you catch a ball", to which Elmo wants to ask Mr. Noodle.
Mr. Noodle tries catching a ball with a baseball mitt & a butterfly net, but in the end, he catches a beach ball with his hands.

Dorothy Wants to Ask Someone Else

Dorothy wants to ask someone else the question, "how do you catch a ball", so 3 different children show Dorothy how to catch a ball with your hands.
Elmo asks a baby, but the baby just drops the ball onto the ground.

Elmo Has a Question for You


Elmo wonders how many times a ball can bounce. A cartoon ball appears on the screen, and bounces a total of 28 times.



Elmo knows other things that bounce, and things can't bounce. He shows us that babies in bouncy seats and Telly on a pogo stick do bounce, while eggs, phone books, & birthday cakes can't bounce.



The Ball Channel: A short cartoon is played about what would happen if balls didn't bounce.



Elmo talks to a beach ball, who tells Elmo that he (the beach ball) bounces because he's filled with air. He also tells Elmo that he can roll, and that is because he is round. But not all balls are round. One example of a ball that isn't round would be a football.

Tickle Me Land

Dorothy imagines Elmo playing football, ping pong, & golf, which all use different types of balls.

Elmo's Home Video


Elmo's video is called "Squishing The Air Out Of A Beach Ball", in which Herry Monster removes all the air from a beach ball.



Michelle and her dad played catch at the beach. At first, Michelle couldn't catch the ball, but after some practice, she is able to catch the ball.

The Ball Song

Elmo's World The Ball Song

Elmo sings "The Ball Song" while a cartoon ball bounces over the word "ball" every time Elmo says that word.


The version of this episode on "Sesame Street Go" doesn't have the word "Ball" on-screen during the final song; the DVD and broadcast versions have a beach ball bouncing on the word "ball" to the song's tune. However, the "Sesame Street Go" version and HBO Kids version just has a soccer ball bouncing in the same area, but not to the tune of the song. This is because the version used on "Sesame Street Go" is the version broadcasted internationally (the international versions have end credits, due to many places airing it separate from Sesame Street), not the original version, which is on DVD and YouTube. The international copy also uses some different camera shots during the final song, for unknown reasons.


  • This episode, unlike the others, has no boing sound effect when Elmo opens or closes his door. It instead has a bubble popping sound effect when Elmo opens his door followed by very very deep pitched sound effects that ascend, descend, or make funny noises instead of the slide sound effects used in other season 1 episodes.
  • This episode was in rotation with the others until 2005 (Season 36 of Sesame Street) when the segment last aired, even though the episode can still be viewed on TV until at least August 2008.
  • Also the first episode to use the bass trombone slide sound effect when Elmo tries to open his drawer during quiz time. It actually comes from the tuba sound of the EMU Proteus 2 Orchestral.

Watch Episode

Sesame Street- Elmo's World- Play Ball!

Sesame Street- Elmo's World- Play Ball!

The full episode, which was posted on Sesame Street's official YouTube channel.